Florida State coaches crave the versatility of a tailback who can catch out of the backfield. Rodney Hill offers a bit of both, an athlete who was primarily lining up as a running back but also at receiver.
FSU’s coaches compare him to another one of their versatile backs.
“Just a really special young man,” FSU coach Mike Norvell said. “He has lined up everywhere: lined up in the backfield, lined up at wide receiver. You see a very similar skill set to what a Lawrance Toafili has, where I think that he can play some in the slot but his primary focus will be in the backfield. He’s got great speed and acceleration. He was probably one of the hidden gems in the class. He came over and worked with us in our summer camp. I thought he did a phenomenal job, just an exceptional student-athlete and he’s got an incredible future here at Florida State.”
Hill had 38 carries for 344 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 9.1 yards per carry as a senior. He also caught 12 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. He has also played basketball and run track.
Running backs coach David Johnson said Hill has gained some weight to his 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame.
“I think he’s going to be really good for us,” Johnson said. “We need that with (Jashaun) Corbin going out and going to the next level.”
Johnson was later asked if he felt a need to keep pursuing graduate transfers at tailback but indicated the staff feels good moving forward in 2022 with Treshaun Ward (515 yards), Toafili (163 yards), D.J. Williams (47 yards) and Hill. It remains to be seen what the options are in the portal, but that would speak to the staff’s confidence that they have needs at other positions as well as having a room with three veterans and a newcomer with promise.
“Unbelievable ball skills,” offensive coordinator Alex Atkins said. “He can make the move, he can run. But the versatility of catching the ball, finishing runs, being able to go between the tackles. He excites me because of all the things he can do being the total package.”